Academics: Majors and Programs

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Spelman College Graduates with President Beverly Daniel Tatum

Sociology Major Requirements

Majors in sociology and in sociology and anthropology are part of the B.A. degree program at Spelman College. Both the major in sociology and the major in sociology and anthropology consist of 44 semester hours, 28 hours (32 hours for sociology and anthropology majors) of which must
be in major core courses.

For the major in sociology, the remaining 16 elective hours must be selected from sociology or anthropology courses offered in the department or, with approval of the department chair, at other appropriate schools. The major in sociology and anthropology is awarded to students who complete the major core requirements, Anthropology 203, “Introduction to Anthropology,” and 12
electives hours of anthropology courses.

For both majors, Sociology 203 (the course designated for majors) is required. The Sociological Imagination: Introduction to Sociology for Majors is a prerequisite for all other courses in the department. The following major core courses are required of all sociology majors and must all be taken at Spelman (unless special permission is granted by the department chair):

  • SOC 203: The Sociological Imagination: Introduction to Sociology for Majors (It is required that majors enroll in the course designated for majors)
  • SOC 320: The History of Social Thought
  • SOC 334: Statistics (Juniors only)
  • SOC 335: Methods of Research (Juniors only)
  • ANTH 336: Qualitative Methods (Juniors only)
  • SOC 422: Contemporary Social Theory (Juniors and Seniors)
  • SOC 432: Sociology Thesis* or
  • ANTH 432: Anthropology Thesis*

*All required courses must be completed prior to enrollment (seniors only). 

Pauline E. Drake Program

Focus areas within the department are offered as preparation for graduate school or professional careers or both. Focused electives consist of courses chosen from the following areas:

  1. anthropology for students interested in pursuing careers in anthropology;
  2. theory and methods for those interested in careers in sociology;
  3. prelaw and criminology for students who want to develop social, historical and theoretical understandings of law, crime and deviance or who anticipate careers in some other aspect of law and/or criminal justice; and
  4. the sociology of health for students interested in advanced degrees in sociology or public health.

Sociology Thesis or Anthropology Thesis

The senior thesis, an original and independent research project, is required of all seniors majoring in sociology or in sociology and anthropology. Designated faculty advisers and readers supervise the research projects. All majors must successfully complete SOC 432 or ANTH 432 in order to complete the major.

Sociology Internship

During their junior or senior year, majors are encouraged to enroll in the internship course (SOC 435). The internship provides students with practical experience by allowing them to work in metropolitan Atlanta area nonprofit, governmental, social service, or research institutions. Students are required to work at least 15 hours per week for an entire semester. In addition, students must complete weekly reports, an agency description, a research paper and make a formal presentation as part of their course requirements. A faculty adviser makes a site visit during the semester. Students who successfully complete an internship will earn four hours of elective credit for the experience.